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Clotfelter, Max – Andros #8

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Andros #8

There’s something profoundly unnerving about the stories in here between the stories about Max’s past. Or are they just disturbing because they’re inherently disconcerting? That’s a question that’s above my pay grade. This is a mix of autobiographical tales and those old timey Hee Haw skits if they were done by David Lynch on a bender. Those stories are best read by you without any clue of what’s coming, but subjects include (being as vague as I can here) spicing up a meal, falling in love, a pun, making your own bait, and excessive fingernails. There, good luck making sense of all that. His other stories are a lot more grounded, and they deal with his getting his first gun (and then a bigger gun, and what happened when he finally got around to firing it), catching fish with his dad (and what happened to the fish afterwards), the true story behind a group of ghosts that he saw, and his brief time with one of the worst temp jobs I’ve ever seen, and I have been through some temp jobs in my day. It’s another solid mix of stories by a man who’s been doing this long enough to have his (artistic) shit thoroughly together by now. Give it a shot, unless you’re easily grossed out. In that case, give it a shot anyway. That way you’ll know that your previous bar for being grossed out was probably too low. $2ish


Clotfelter, Max – Andros #7

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Andros #7

I just got lost for a minute trying to count the faces in that cover. Go ahead, try it yourself! This is another collection of short pieces by Max, mostly (if not entirely) pulled from small anthology comics. And since I do this “for a living” (i.e. make no money but keep doing it anyway) and haven’t seen most of these stories before, I’m guessing you haven’t either. The strip I sampled sums up my general mood on America in the middle of 2018; if you’re reading this in the future, the main subject of controversy right now is prison camps for immigrant children. Check around to see if things have gotten better or worse since this moment! Other strips deal with the steps Max has taken throughout the years to make himself almost entirely disguised, a few FEMA funnies strips, the story of a dog breeder who had some creative methods for convincing others that his dogs were pure bred, an alarming double page spead pinup of his Aunt from the 60’s, the time that he learned a valuable lesson about bullying, and a few other short pieces that I’ll leave as mysteries. Hey Secret Acres, Max is bound to have enough strips around by now to warrant a collection of his work. You’re on a roll with what you’ve been putting out, maybe give his stuff a shot? For you, gentle reader, yes, I’d recommend giving this a shot. I’ve been reviewing his stuff almost since I started this website in 2001, and it’s still an unnerving delight every time I see it. $2

Clotfelter, Max – Andros #5

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Andros #5

For what it’s worth (and it shouldn’t be all that much, as everybody gets an opinion), I approve of Max’s recent shift into double page spreads of his art, or silent work in general. Sure, I bitch about silent comics at times, but not THESE comics. And yes, that’s supposed to make total sense. In past issues of his comics we would get the occasional glimpse of the oozing, seething horrors that populate his art, but in the last few issues I’ve seen we get to see these monstrosities in better detail. In this issue we get two double page spreads, both on the inside front cover and the centerfold of the book. Is it still called a centerfold if it doesn’t involve a naked man or woman? Let’s just say that it does. The center image is the more powerful of the two, mostly because it’s uninterrupted. Is the gelatinous pile of tumors holding a speared child of the cowering, weeping creature backed up against a tree? Why is the man (if it is indeed a man under all those clothes, but it least it has a manlike shape) holding a gun up to that cowering creature? And are all the creatures of the forest on its side, or have they merely been backed into the same corner? I probably should have put that image as the sample just so all that made sense, but trust me, you’ll be glad that you discovered it for yourself. Other bits in here that are generally more examples of linear storytelling include Max’s memories of meeting Mr. T. as a child (and how he’s confronted with the reality of that meeting as an adult), begging for food at a flea market, seeing a guy jerking off on a bus, and ending up getting way too many eyedrops when taking drugs. There are also more than a few silent pages or short stories that defy conventional explanation, and as a whole comic it’s pretty damned impressive. My only confusion is that I remember Andros as being an anthology, but it’s from a long time ago (way, way back in the fuzzy days of the 90’s), and who can remember that far back anyway? $2